Botswana Football Association (BFA) President Tebogo Sebego has brushed aside claims that he failed to intervene in the events that unfolded at Botswana Premier League (BPL) in recent weeks. Sebego said he chose to sit and observe since nothing was done outside the parameters of the BFA regulations and the constitution. The BFA leadership has been accused of being silent on the BPL chaos. According to Sebego, nothing was done wrong that warranted his intervention. “The BFA judicial structures are independent and as long as they are working within the parameters of the constitution they should be left as such,” said Sebego. Speaking in a media briefing Sebego said in his view the only thing done wrong was people’s different interpretations on the matters that existed. Sebego, however, admitted had the issues been allowed to be resolved before the conclusion of the league all these could be have been averted. “In my view what was done wrong was not allowing the issues to be resolved before conclusion of the league. If this was done we could not be in this situation right now,” said Sebego.
It has been revealed that BPL sponsors had requested that the games be suspended until a resolution was attained but the premier league board forged ahead with the league. Sebego noted with remorse that the activities that have been unfolding within BPL and apologised to all relevant stakeholders. “To this end BFA wishes to apologise to football stakeholders particularly supporters who have been supporting local football at all times. We also specifically and unreservedly extend a word of apology to Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), sponsors of the beMOBILE premiership. They have not only suffered embarrassment from the goings-on but also face reputational dent as a result; something which was in no way part of their agenda when they entered into partnership with BFA,” said Sebego. He said the developments are not good at all for Botswana football which has been showing positive signs of growth with quality leagues and competitive national teams. He, however, said the association is working to find a quick remedy to all the unfortunate occurrences at BPL. He said that at the end of everything the association will introspect on a long term future that would be free of such embarrassing activities.
The reoccurrence of these issues of registration at BPL is a cause for concern and is seen as the root cause of all the current problems. Trouble broke out for the league when teams protested the registration of Ofentse Nato by Township Rollers insisting that he was a defaulter after being registered outside the player transfer period. He had however been given an International Clearance Certificate by FIFA to allow him to register with Rollers under the exceptional rule that allows professional players to be registered outside transfer periods to ensure that they do not lose out on playing time and related benefits. Sebego is however confident that the new FIFA constitution will help address these issues going forward. He explained that the player registration system that comes with the new constitution for instance, will be of help. He explained that BFA has been having workshops on this and once implemented the system will reduce issues of defaulters. He revealed that the BFA Statutes committee met on Wednesday to discuss this issue. “The committee must do its best to simplify these regulations to make them understandable to all,” said Sebego.